Legs Itch After Walking or Jogging

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    Jan 16, 2010 4:59 AM GMT
    Hey guys, I have a question about something that has plagued me for years.

    A lot of the time when I jog, or take walks, my legs will start to itch like a mofo (as the kids say icon_razz.gif)... it starts gradually, but eventually works its way up to the point where both of my legs are just about burning. It doesn't matter whether I wear shorts, jeans, sweats, or whatever... and it doesn't always occur (so it's not a laundry detergent thing).

    I've taken my dog on long, long walks where I don't have an issue, but I've also taken her on little thirty minute walks where by the end I'm in a fair bit of pain. icon_confused.gif It really feels like my legs are just a huge, huge mosquito bite and scratching them doesn't bring even a temporary relief (so I don't touch them at all if I can help it).

    Once I stop walking it goes away after about ten to twenty minutes, and I think it goes away faster if I take a hot shower.

    I have also noticed that it never, ever happens when I'm on an elliptical machine... it can't just be my legs rubbing together though, because then it would just be the inside of the legs, but my entire leg burns.


    Can anyone tell me what that is?
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    Jan 16, 2010 4:45 PM GMT
    Your problem is not unique. In fact, it is called the itchy leg syndrome and there are several causes that I can remember from when I looked it up. I will get itching in my left leg after using the treadmill. There is no problems with the right leg. I always assumed my symptoms had something to do with a ruptured disk I had several years ago which caused sciatica and nerve damage in the left leg. Neurologic issues can sensory symptoms like itching. Some of the additional causes I remember are as follows.

    1. In unfit runners the capillaries do not open rapidly and there is pressure on the adjacent nerves. In the fit runner the capillaries open rapidly and there is no irritation to nerves. The problem should resolve when the runner/walker becomes fit

    2. Histamine can be released from mast cells with exercise. The minor form is called cholinergic urticaria and occurs when the body heats up and the mast cells release their histamine. There can be hives and itching. This can be treated with antihistamines like Claritin or Benadryl.
    There is also a rare problem called exercise induced anaphylaxis which is a systemic reaction with shock and the inability to breath and is potentially fatal. These people need to carry epinephrine injectable with them.

    3 Wearing synthetic pants can cause a contact or allergic dermatitis which can itch. There is less problem with cotton pants. Pants should be prewashed.

    4. Dry skin is irritated by sweat. A moisturizer should help.

    Several people wrote that they never get the problem on the elliptical only when jogging or running on the the treadmill or road. One blogger suggested that since the elliptical is more gentle than running the mast cells do not release their histamine as occurs in running.
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    Jan 16, 2010 5:07 PM GMT
    I get that sometimes when running a lot, but my instructor showed me a nice way that helped. Sometimes lot of exercise can cause gases and chemicals to be formed in cells which is not release immediately and thus causing discomfort. Try rubbing your legs with both palms in rapid circles. It has helped me pretty good so far.
  • neon4u

    Posts: 1152

    Feb 01, 2010 10:08 PM GMT
    Are you doing these exercises on a regular basis. Is not then your body needs to adjust. It happens often when someone begins a new routine like running.
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    Feb 01, 2010 10:14 PM GMT
    BestFriendRole saidHey guys, I have a question about something that has plagued me for years.

    A lot of the time when I jog, or take walks, my legs will start to itch like a mofo (as the kids say icon_razz.gif)... it starts gradually, but eventually works its way up to the point where both of my legs are just about burning. It doesn't matter whether I wear shorts, jeans, sweats, or whatever... and it doesn't always occur (so it's not a laundry detergent thing).

    I've taken my dog on long, long walks where I don't have an issue, but I've also taken her on little thirty minute walks where by the end I'm in a fair bit of pain. icon_confused.gif It really feels like my legs are just a huge, huge mosquito bite and scratching them doesn't bring even a temporary relief (so I don't touch them at all if I can help it).

    Once I stop walking it goes away after about ten to twenty minutes, and I think it goes away faster if I take a hot shower.

    I have also noticed that it never, ever happens when I'm on an elliptical machine... it can't just be my legs rubbing together though, because then it would just be the inside of the legs, but my entire leg burns.


    Can anyone tell me what that is?


    You need to see a qualified medical professional.